China: Support For Taiwan Independence To Fail

China ramped up its rhetoric over Taiwan on Monday, describing any support for its independence as "doomed to fail", and threatened retaliation against United States (US) diplomatic visits to the island.Taiwan has been ruled separately from China since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification.The island is a flashpoint with Washington, which promises military support to the elected government and has sent two envoy

22 September 2020

US Sends Top Diplomat To Taiwan, Angering China

A top United States (US) diplomat landed in Taiwan Thursday, the highest-ranking State Department official to visit in 40 years, in a further sign of Washington's willingness to defy China and its campaign to isolate the self-ruled island.Keith Krach, undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, is visiting to attend a memorial service for late president Lee Teng-hui on Saturday, the US State Department said.The trip, the second high-ranking US visit in as man

18 September 2020

Taiwan Calls For Global Defence Against China

Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu urged the international community Wednesday to help defend his country and region against "expansionist" Chinese moves, saying Taipei feared Beijing would resort to force.Taiwan was "on the front-line defending democracies from being taken over by the communist China" and needed help from other countries, he told the France 24 TV station.Wu said China "has been intensifying its military threat against Taiwan" in recent yea

17 September 2020

Myanmar's Muslims, Hindus Excluded From Election

One of Myanmar's five million young adults, May Thandar Maung had been excited to cast her ballot for the very first time in November's election.But the 18-year-old is Muslim and says that means she will remain voiceless."My religion means I haven't been able to get an ID card," she said in her hometown of Meiktila in central Myanmar – and no ID means no vote.She describes how local officials have obstructed her attempts for over a year, while Buddhist peers faced no

29 August 2020

Taiwan: China Trying To Turn Island Into Hong Kong

China is trying to turn democratic Taiwan into another Hong Kong, the island's foreign minister warned Tuesday as he met with a senior US official making a historic diplomatic trip.A crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong has gathered pace since China imposed a sweeping security law on the financial hub in June, with opposition politicians disqualified and activists arrested.That has caused alarm in Taiwan, a self-ruled island of 23 million people that Beijing claims as its own territory and

12 August 2020

US Cabinet Member Lauds Taiwan's Democracy

A United States (US) cabinet member heaped praise on Taiwan's democracy and its success in battling the coronavirus as he met the island's leader on Monday during a historic visit that China has slammed as a threat to peace.Health Secretary Alex Azar is in Taipei for a three-day visit billed as the highest-level visit from the US since it switched diplomatic recognition from the island to China in 1979.His trip comes as relations between the United States and China are in tumult, wi

11 August 2020

Thai Premier 'Worried' As Student Protests Grow

Thailand's premier said Tuesday he was "worried" about a burgeoning student movement calling for the dissolution of his government, as pro-democracy protesters plot rallies and other creative displays of dissent across the kingdom.His comments come days after thousands of mostly young, black-clad protesters amassed at Bangkok's Democracy Monument in one of the city's largest shows of defiance in years, shouting vitriolic chants directed at the pro-military establishme

22 July 2020

Singapore’s PAP Wins Poll But Support Slips

Singapore's long-ruling party retained power Saturday but its support fell sharply, while the opposition made gains, in a general election held under the shadow of a coronavirus outbreak.Voters put on masks and gloves and had to observe social distancing rules during a poll held as the city-state emerges from a lengthy lockdown. The affluent financial hub has seen large virus outbreaks in dormitories housing low-paid foreign workers, but with new infections slowing and authoriti

11 July 2020

COVID-19 Lessons For Indonesia’s Future Leaders

2020 is supposed to be a vibrant democratic year for a number of regions in Indonesia. It has been scheduled that on 23 September this year voters in approximately nine provinces, 24 regencies, and 37 cities throughout the archipelago will go to polling stations and decide their next local leaders.

1 July 2020

Thais Call For Change On Anniversary Of Revolution

Thais on Wednesday marked the anniversary of a 1932 revolution which ended absolute monarchy with heavily symbolic events, demanding reforms to a political system dominated by the arch-royalist army.Protesters dressed as soldiers and a pre-dawn holographic display were among the subversive ways activists chose to commemorate Thailand's transition from absolutism to a constitutional monarchy on 24 June, 1932.Marking the revolution has become increasingly taboo under the government of form

25 June 2020

Filipinos Rally Against Anti-Terror Bill

Hundreds of protesters rallied in Manila Friday against anti-terrorism legislation that critics fear would give Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sweeping powers to stifle dissent. The bill, which has been approved by Congress and is expected to be signed into law by Duterte, would create a council of presidential appointees that could order warrantless arrests of people it deems are terrorists.It also allows for weeks of detention without charge. Activists fear the legis

13 June 2020

Chinese Media Fires Back At US Over Hong Kong

Chinese state media took aim at the US government over the weekend as many American cities were gripped by raging protests and clashes, comparing the unrest with the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.Beijing has long been infuriated by criticism from Western capitals, especially Washington, over its handling of the pro-democracy protests that shook Hong Kong last year.And as unrest erupted across the United States over racial inequality and police brutality after the death during arrest of

1 June 2020